mcdowell county

McDowell County Residents Mentioned in NC Newspapers

Last night I was watching  – “Who Do You Think You Are?”, a NBC televised show that chronicles  a celebrity as they research their ancestors. They make the journey look so easy. The celebrity (last night it was Rosie O’Donnell) have the help of certified genealogist and historians.

One of the clues that Ms. O’Donnell found about her great-grandmother was in a newspaper. There is a wealth of information in newspapers for the genealogy researcher – obituaries, birth announcements, tragic events, marriages, and social events  to name a few.

There is a great resource out there – NC People in the Papers. A database of various news worthy items such as deaths, marriages, and births from NC Newspapers.  See the About Page for more information.

BTW, Ms. O’Donnell found a newspaper article about her great-grandmother, who was fixing breakfast, while holding her year-old child.  The child pulled over a kerosene lamp that caught her mother on fire. She died 20 days later. The lead Ms. O’Donnell to a sibling, she did not know her great-grandfather had.

McDowell County People in the NC People in the Papers.

Happy Reading!


McDowell County Citizens listed in the NC Yearbook Index

Several McDowell County citizens are listed the NC Yearbook Index.

What is the North Carolina Yearbook Index? It is a website dedicated to indexing students listed in a variety of North Carolina Yearbooks.  Through this index, you potentially could locate a family member to learn more about their college years.

Is it worth researching? Well as of August 14, 2011 there are 28, 575 names in the index.

Here is an example of the information that you might find as you search the index. Note that you can view the yearbook. Once at the yearbook, you can perform a search with a surname and it will list all surnames throughout the yearbook.

id: 13998

Name: BURGIN, William Taylor

City: Old Fort

County: McDowell

State: NC

Year: 1923

Class: Senior

School: NC State University

Link: View Yearbook



Wright, H. D. “Doug” (2008)

Obituary of H. D. “Doug” Wright ~ 2008

Transcribed by Joseph Cook

Mr. H. D. “Doug” Wright, age 61 of Marion passed away peacefully on Thursday December 11, 2008 surrounded by family at his residence. Doug was a native of Kilgore, TX and was born on May 11, 1947 to J. D. Wright of Houma, LA and the late Nell Conrad Wright. He was retired from Texaco Oil Company following over 38 years of service as an oil field supervisor/emergency care provider. He had many hobbies including woodworking, gem mining and lapidary, glass blowing and gardening. He was a member of the McDowell County Master’s Gardener, Blue Ridge Chevron retiree group and the Hickory Foothills Sam’s RV Club. Doug was also a veteran of the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps having served as a medic “Doc” during the Vietnam War and was a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Surviving in addition to his father are his wife of 41 years, Hope Bayne Wright; two sons, John C. Wright and his wife Alexis of Marietta, GA and Brian D. Wright and his wife Tonya of Clermont, FL; a sister Brenda Wright Fields of Houma, LA; six grandchildren, Victoria, Blair, Luke, Jared, Landon and Carson; and his faithful and beloved dog Colonel.

A funeral service was held on Monday December 15, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. in Westmoreland Chapel with Rev. Paul Adelgren officiating. The family received friends from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial was in the Western Carolina State Veterans Cemetery with full military rites provided by the Buncombe County Veterans Council Memorial Team. Memorials may be made to the McDowell County Master Gardeners Club c/o Charlie Sander 702 Lakeview Hills Drive, Nebo, NC 28761.

An online register is available under OBITUARIES at

The News Bulletin of McDowell County, Wednesday December 17, 2008 Volume 14 # 50

Worley, Alton (2008)

Obituary of Alton Worley ~ 2008

Transcribed by Joseph Cook

Alton Worley went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Monday September 29, 2008. He was born on May 1, 1926 to Henry Worley and Sylvania Buckner Worley in Madison County. Alton was a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church since moving to Marion in 1939. A dedicated member, he served as teacher, usher and deacon through the years. He loved his church, but was unable to attend regularly after illness struck. Alton retired from the State Highway Department in 1983. Prior to working for the state, he was employed at Drexel Furniture and still has friends from both places who remember his quick smile and happy, friendly personality. His entire family mourns his loss and will never stop missing him, but we know he is celebrating in Heaven today. His desire was to impress on his family to always be ready, life on this earth is short but heaven is eternal!

Alton is survived by his wife of more than 58 years, Pauline Myers Worley; his two children, Phyllis Wright of Lenoir and Ray Worley and his wife Carol of Marion; five grandchildren who will greatly miss him, Jamie and Jon Wright of Lenoir, Chad and Nathan Worley and Lisa Worley Seay, all of Marion; six great grandchildren, Heather, Cameron, and Landrie Wright of Lenoir and Andrew, Jada and Isaac Worley of Marion; two sisters, Nan Wright and Mae Wright and her husband Fred, all of Marion; one brother Vernon Worley and his wife Juanita of Marion. His sister Myrtle Baker, two brothers, Winston and Burder Worley and a son-in-law Steve Wright preceded him in death. He was a beloved uncle to many nieces and nephews. Uncle Alton is remembered as the most loving, sweet and fun uncle.

A funeral service will be held on Wednesday October 1, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. at Zion Hill Baptist Church with Dr. Tom Walker and Revs. Leo Kuykendall and Bruce Ward officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Westmoreland Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements. An online register is available under OBITUARIES at

The News Bulletin of McDowell County, Wednesday October 1, 2008 Volume 14 # 39

Wood, Evelyn Leona Floyd (2009)

Obituary of Evelyn Leona Floyd Wood ~ 2009

Transcribed by Joseph Cook

Evelyn Leona Floyd Wood, age 78 of Marion passed away Thursday March 19, 2009 at The McDowell Hospital. Evelyn was born in Gaston County on August 28, 1930 and was a daughter of the late Rev. John and Rosa Floyd. She was a loving mother, grandmother, great grandmother and sister. Preceding Evelyn in death was a brother Donald and two sisters, Audrey and Rebecca.

Surviving Mrs. Wood are three children: Rex Wood and his wife Debbie, Michael Wood and his companion Judy and Tammy Wood Webster; brothers, Rev. Johnny, Roger, Ray and Mike; sisters, Betty and Diane; special sister-in-law Evelyn; twelve grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.

A funeral service was held Sunday March 22, 2009 at 11:00 am at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church with Rev. Ray Stockton officiating. The family received friends one hour prior to the service from 10:00 – 11:00 am at the church. Interment was in Murphy’s Chapel Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to American Lung Association of NC 3801 Lake Boone Trail Suite 190 Raleigh, NC 27607. Westmoreland Funeral Home and Crematory is assisting the family. An online register is available under OBITUARIES at

The News Bulletin of McDowell County, Wednesday March 25, 2008 Volume 15 # 12